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NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Newsletter – Fall 2010

Fall Newsletter 2010
In This Issue

 

Medical Payments Coverage

Clients Win Cases

Missouri Bar Speakers Bureau

Social Media and You

Contact Details

Medical Payments Coverage

A fair amount of our practice involves people injured in automobile collisions. Typically, the injured person calls us soon after the crash. We are almost always asked during our initial meeting, “How do I pay for my medical treatment?”.

You may purchase insurance coverage that can help you make ends meet in the weeks and months following the collision. The coverage is called “medical payments” coverage. And, “medical payments” coverage is available from the insurer that sells you the liability coverage you have on your car or truck that is mandated by Missouri law.

“Medical payments” coverage is no-fault coverage, meaning its availability is not dependant on proving that either you or the other driver involved in the collision were at fault in causing the crash. In most cases, the injured person must simply prove that she was a passenger in a vehicle involved in the collision, she required medical treatment for injuries suffered in the collision, and she was charged by her health providers for the treatment. Most coverage reimburses the injured person dollar-for-dollar for the cost billed by the health providers.

Your insurer most probably offers “medical payments” coverage ranging from as little as $1,000 to as much as $10,000. The cost of this type of coverage is relatively inexpensive, costing you as little as $10 per month for several thousand dollars of coverage. With the cost of medical treatment today, this coverage is invaluable to help you pay co-pays and deductibles which you incur. Check your motor vehicle coverage today to verify that you have purchased “medical payments” coverage and, if you have not or have minimal coverage, call your agent to price this coverage.

Please call us if you have any questions about “medical payments” coverage. And, if you or a loved one is involved in a crash, call us to discuss how you should coordinate your regular health insurance with “medical payments” coverage to ensure your receipt of the maximum benefit of both types of coverage.


Clients Win Cases in Pulaski County, St. Charles County and before the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation

A woman represented by Casey & Devoti received a judgment in her favor in a premises liability case. The woman slipped on water while working at Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County. The water was left behind by a contractor who had mopped the floor. No warning signs were posted when the woman fell.

The case was tried before Judge Mary Sheffield in Waynesville. Judge Sheffield entered a judgment in favor of the woman in the amount of $700,000.

Another woman represented by the firm recently won her Workers’ Compensation claim. The woman worked as a custodian for the Fox School District for over 20 years. The woman claimed that she suffered injury to her neck, left shoulder and low back when she fell from a stool while cleaning a chalkboard.

Following a hearing in Crystal City, the administrative law judge awarded the woman nearly $188,000 from the District and the Second Injury Fund.

Also, on August 11, a St. Charles County jury returned a verdict in favor of a motorcyclist represented by the firm. The firm’s client suffered injury when his motorcycle was struck from behind by a car driven by a young woman on Route DD in rural St. Charles County. The woman’s car crested a hill moments before the impact.

The motorcyclist testified that he had just pulled onto the highway from the entrance to his neighborhood. The entrance was obscured from the woman’s view by the hillcrest. The woman testified that she was driving her car under the speed limit when she crested the hill and that her limited sight distance prohibited her from stopping her car in time to prevent the crash.

The case was tried before Judge Nancy Schneider. Matt Devoti represented the man at trial.


Missouri Bar Speakers Bureau

Matt Devoti is a member of the Missouri Bar’s Non-Partisan Court Plan Bureau of Speakers. The Bureau consists of lawyers willing to speak with and educate community groups about the Non-Partisan Court Plan. The goal of the program is to educate the public about the history and strengths of the Plan.

The Non-Partisan Court Plan is the method by which the judges of the Missouri Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals and some circuit courts are appointed. All judges in the Circuit Courts of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County are appointed under the Plan. Under the Plan, judges are chosen on merit rather than by popular election or political connections.

Matt spoke with members of the Gateway Alliance Civil Liberty Council at the group’s August meeting. Matt discussed the Non-Partisan Court Plan with the Council’s membership. The Council is gun-rights advocacy group centered in Brentwood, Missouri.

The Plan is once again a topic of conversation during the current election cycle. Please contact Matt if you’d like him to speak with your group about the Non-Partisan Court Plan.


Social Media and You

I recently received a newsletter from a defense firm that Casey & Devoti works with on a regular basis. The lawyers in the defense firm represent businesses, hospitals and insurance companies with which our clients often have disputes.

One article in the newsletter caught my eye – the article addressed the use of “social media” by insurance companies, their lawyers and investigators in the defense of personal injury suits. “Social media” are web-based technologies used for social interaction. For instance, internet sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube are “social media”.

In the article, the lawyer noted that photographs, video and comments posted on-line may be used as evidence at trial. He recognized that judges and juries accept these items as evidence. In sum, the lawyer suggested that diligent investigation of social media may be used to the advantage of parties sued by another claiming personal injury. He is correct.

You need to be careful what you post – and others post about you – on-line. Perceptions are powerful. And, a photograph, video or comment discovered by an insurance company or its lawyer will be used against you. The context or circumstance of the event captured by the photograph or video may not matter. The defense will use the media to suggest that you are lying or exaggerating all or part of your claim.

We recommend to our clients that they discontinue use of “social media” while they have an active claim and change their security setting so that the general public cannot see information about them, including photographs showing them. We are concerned not only about what our clients post, but what others post about them. These items are discoverable with little effort. And, the insurer is looking.

Please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions about “social media” and how information on the internet may used in your case.

-Matt Devoti


Our Contact Information

Do you, a family member or friend need help? Please feel free to contact us at:

By Telephone
(314) 421-0763

By E-mail
Thomas J. Casey – tjc@caseydevoti.com
Matthew J. Devoti – mjd@caseydevoti.com

Matthew C. Casey – mcc@caseydevoti.com

We are happy to meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge.

 

10 South Broadway, Suite 825, St. Louis, MO 63102
314-421-0763
Copyright 2009 Casey & Devoti

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